The entire Gulf region is blanketed with sandstorm blowing from southeast of Saudi Arabia, particularly the Empty Quarter and moving towards east and Indian Ocean.
According to National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS), the sandstorm hard-hit Saudi, Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait on Wednesday and moved eastward on Thursday.
The centre also said the sandstorm was caused by strong southeasterly winds blowing from the centre Empty Quarter. So far Oman is not affected, but Met Office forecast it will hit Oman later in the day and Friday.
In rest of the Gulf countries declared holiday with schools and government offices closed on Thursday. Oman has also announced a holiday on Friday.
“It is terrible, here in Liwa. When I wake up this morning I found myself covered with sand. It was worst outside and could not see anything. I don’t see the date-palms and other trees I look-after. I even can’t see the nearby sand-dunes that stand like mountains,” said Ghulam Rasool, a Pakistani farmer working in Liwa, which is part of the Empty Quarter.
Similar reports are coming are coming from across the country and neighbouring countries where visibility in some places was reduced a mere metre.The bad weather also affected many regional airport operations with most of the flights delayed.